Mathews County Treasurer Wendy Stewart has announced the implementation of a new delinquency collection program. These efforts will focus on the collection of delinquent personal property taxes as well as the court-enforced sale of real estate for unpaid taxes.
Stewart is working with Taxing Authority Consulting Services, P.C. (TACS), a Virginia law firm that specializes in representing treasurers and tax collectors.
The treasurer’s work with TACS was made possible after Mathews supervisors adopted amendments to the county code concerning the non-payment of taxes. These amendments allowed a 20 percent fee to be added to delinquent accounts assigned to a collection attorney. In this way, the costs of collections are borne by the tax delinquent and not by tax-abiding citizens, Stewart said in a release.
In collecting these accounts, TACS and the treasurer may pursue all means of collection authorized by law, including the attachment of wages or other assets, the seizure of personal property or filing suit in court.
Stewart said she will also be taking additional steps to collect the real estate delinquencies that remain unpaid. Pursuant to state code, she said that her office will commence proceedings to sell real estate on which taxes remain unpaid for three years or longer. Once an action to sell the property has been commenced, the property owner is liable for all costs and attorney’s fees incurred, in addition to the tax, penalty and interest assessed on the property.
To avoid these actions, and the additional 20 percent collection fee, Stewart said, taxpayers must take prompt steps to resolve their delinquent accounts.